Alternative Treatments for Eczema Show Promise

42-15200256Treatments for eczema range from the application of topical creams and ointments to light therapy, but this chronic skin disease still remains untreatable for many.

Eczema is an inflammatory skin disease that makes the skin appear red, itchy and uncomfortable, and the condition can be triggered by a number of causes. Some patients are now seeking out alternative treatments that help to reduce the symptoms and make eczema easier to manage.

According to a presentation by dermatologist Peter A. Lio M.D., FAAD, assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Summer Academy Meeting 2009, there are now several alternative therapy treatments that are showing promise for even the most severe eczema cases.

Dr. Lio reports that a combination of homeopathy, holistic medicine, acupuncture and dietary supplements may help to control the symptoms and may even improve overall health. However, he also states that many herbal treatments that are being marketed for the treatment of eczema are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and may end up causing even more problems physically, and psychologically, for the patient.

Dr. Lio’s report concludes that some alternative therapies that help to reduce stress may offer benefits to some patients because they reduce the risk of triggering an eczema outbreak. Emotional stress can have a negative effect on those with skin disorders, so alternative health treatments such as acupuncture and hypnosis may help to reduce stress and thereby improve the condition of the skin.

Patients are warned to exercise caution when pursuing alternative treatments for managing their eczema, and to consult with their dermatologist before making any changes to their health and skincare routine. Dr. Lio says that it is still important to continue with the dermatologist-recommended medical regimen, because alternative treatments will not be able to replace clinically-tested medical treatments.

Further Reading

  • Up until now, dermatologists have been trying a variety of different skin removal techniques to get rid of precancerous skin lesions.

  • Topical agents, diet and certain medicines presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Summer Academy Meeting 2010 in Chicago is showing promise for preventing UV-induced skin cancer. Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, and dermatologists are now encouraging the public to be conscientious about the amount of sun they are exposed to, and taking extra steps to use broad-spectrum sunscreen on a regular basis.

  • Individuals with a rare skin disease called recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) can improve their condition with the transfer of bone marrow stem cells. A team of medical researchers has found that bone marrow stem cells can effectively treat the disease and help to repair the skin and speed up the healing process. This skin disease cannot be treated with conventional dermatology procedures.